GRAND RAPIDS – Ferris State University recently partnered with Aquinas College, Calvin College, Davenport University and Grand Valley State University to host the third annual Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival at the Grand Rapids Community Media Center’s Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids. More than 1,000 people participated in the four-day festival.
For four days this spring, the festival provided the entire West Michigan community and students with a unique and enriching opportunity to acquaint themselves with the latest and most acclaimed Latin American films. Twelve movies from different geographical areas, including Republica Dominicana, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina, were selected for the festival. The festival also featured discussions with Manny Perez, screenwriter and actor, on his film “La soga” and Dominican Republic Director Julio Hernandez Cordon on his film “Las marimbas del infierno/Marimbas from Hell.” The festival events were free and open to the public.
Tony Baker, professor of Social Sciences at Ferris, brought 50 grade school students from the Hispanic Center to join the Thursday evening festivities, and three vans of Ferris students attended/volunteered at the event. Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish Eric Warner, Languages and Literature, translated for Julio Hernandez Cordon at Saturday night’s post-film discussion.
Social Sciences professor Mike Berghoef said the film festival was a huge success with a lot of visible support from, and goodwill toward Ferris.
“We should definitely be involved next year,” Berghoef said of the March event. “Inter-university collaboration is always challenging, but this was a shining example of why we do it.”
Plans for a fourth film festival are under way. Those interested should contact Berghoef at (231) 591-2765, Tony Baker at (231) 591-2753 or Eric Warner at (231) 591-5049 for more information.